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Apple's Jobs likely to keep Mac fans in the dark

The CEO will make a keynote speech Tuesday at the Seybold Seminars trade show, but he is unlikely to use the event to make any major announcements about forthcoming laptop models.

Macintosh fans hoping to hear about new laptop models will probably have to wait beyond next week.

Although Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs is making a keynote speech Tuesday at the Seybold Seminars trade show, Apple representatives say his talk will be a message targeted to the design and publishing community.

Apple has decided not to broadcast Jobs' speech over the Internet, even though it has done so with other speeches. "We just figure the majority of our audience is at the show," Apple spokeswoman Sarah Staley said today.

Seybold, which is a huge trade show focusing on both print and Web publishing, runs from Sunday through next Friday in San Francisco.

Apple completely refreshed its desktop line at the Macworld show last month in New York, but the computer maker has been expected to announce updates to both its Powerbook and iBook laptop lines sometime soon.

Apple typically uses events to launch new hardware. For those keeping track, the next big event for the company is the Apple Expo 2000, which takes place Sept. 13 to 17 in Paris.

The forthcoming iBook model got some extra attention when Apple filed a lawsuit earlier this month against an anonymous tipster known as "worker bee," who published alleged details about the laptop. Worker bee said in a posting on an Apple rumor site that the iBook would contain a processor running at "up to 466 MHz, DVD, 1 firewire port, 8Mb of VRAM." The tipster also said that "screen size will remain the same, don't know about new colors...yet."

Apple says that worker bee's postings violate the company's trade secrets. Apple made reference to a worker bee posting from July 25. Although the company won't say whether that posting referred to iBook, July 25 is the same day that worker bee posted details about the laptop.

As for Apple's eagerly awaited OS X operating system, Jobs has promised that a public test, or beta, release will be widely available in September.

Several other tech leaders are giving talks at Seybold, including Adobe Systems chief executive John Warnock, Sun Microsystems chief researcher John Gage, Eastman Kodak chief executive Daniel Carp, and John Seely Brown, director of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center.

Brokerage Wit SoundView today upgraded the company's stock to "strong buy" from "buy."